Movement Principles

51% empty or 49% full?


Researchers asked 1094 Australians who do not regard themselves as Christians:

How open are you to changing your religious worldview?

A majority of 51% are not open at all.

49 percent Aussies open.jpg

So you can agonize over how to change the 51% who are resistant, or you can change your perspective and ask,

How do we connect with the 49% who are at least partially open?

An even better question is,

How do we connect with the 17% who are extremely, significantly or somewhat open?

Are we washing our hands of the 51%? No way. We're just following the example of Jesus and the early church by looking for receptive people who become the bridges to reaching less responsive people in their world.

What is the most compelling reason for someone in the 51% coming to Christ? The witness of a friend or family member from the 49% who has been recently converted.

Ask my dad, he was a 51 percenter.

026-Movements and Money

Simon Pillar

Simon Pillar

A while ago I heard this short talk by Simon Pillar on the link between generosity and the spread of the gospel.

The Gospels and Acts identify many people who used their wealth for the advance of the Christian movement.

It's a bootleg recording from the Arrow graduation dinner so the quality is less than perfect.

Why we can't change the world

Books on Changing the World.jpg

Most of the books on the topic of Changing the World were written in the last twenty years. Before 1900 we can't find any books written on changing the world in the previous 500 years.

OK I jumped on the bandwagon and called my book, Movements that Change the World.

Who says we're going to change the world? Wherever Jesus went there was conflict and division. Poverty and oppression were still a reality for most people. In Acts, wherever the gospel went cities were "transformed" by riots. Jump ahead to the book of Revelation and you won't find peace on earth. It's a battle, there is evil and suffering until Jesus returns.

In the twentieth century, those who promised heaven on earth, only succeeded in turning the earth into a living hell.

The best chance you have of changing this world is to realise that this world is not our home.

Salvation by faith and mission by works?


Working on this next book got me thinking. . . Are we saved by faith, only to carry out our mission by works?

Pull down off your shelves every book you have on evangelism, church planting or mission. Flip through them. What premise are they based on? Who is the main character in their story or view of the world? Who makes things happen? Who's in charge?

Now skim through the book of Acts and ask the same questions. Who's in charge? Who calls the shots? Who leads the way? I'll give you a hint, it's not Peter, or any of the Twelve, it's not even Paul.

If we don't get this right, we're not even in the game.

Organization vs movement vs philosophy


Some wisdom from Seth Godin:

An organization uses structure and resources and power to make things happen. Organizations hire people, issue policies, buy things, erect buildings, earn market share and get things done. Your company is probably an organization.

A movement has an emotional heart. A movement might use an organization, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear. Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers. The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.

A philosophy can survive things that might wipe out a movement and that would decimate an organization. A philosophy can skip a generation or two. It is often interpreted, and is more likely to break into autonomous groups, to morph and split and then reunite. Industrialism was a philosophy.

The trouble kicks in when you think you have one and you actually have the other.

Thanks to Tim O'Neill

The espistle of St Barnabas to Ronald on the matter of money and movements

St Barnabas

Let's drop in on an email exchange between "St Barney" (recently cannonized) and one of his CPM workers in the field.

It's on the topic of centralized funding and location for training church planters. Your situation may differ, but the principles here don't.

Hi Ronald

Thanks for explaining the situation. It sounds like it would be challenging to run training in these remote areas with limited facilities.

But if you move the training outside of the area, how will you avoid the trap of local people thinking that in order to train they need to bring them to a central location that has better facilities requires outside funding?

The reason I ask this is that in the early days that's what we did. We brought people to a location that had better accommodation and training facilities. Initially this proved to work well but what we discovered was that it began costing us more and more money, and we didn't always get the best people coming as sometimes those who should have been there had to stay in the villages for farming or other reasons.

Unknowingly I was communicating to our local guys (my equivalent of Raj and Amir) that it wasn't really possible for them to run and host trainings in their home areas because they needed outside finance in order to run these trainings.

In the end I had to say no more!

As it turned out when i stopped funding the training events the local folks became very resourceful and found the resources and other ways to train people. i discovered that as long as i was paying they saw no reason to come up with another way.

I encourage you to move the training to their own location, and have them come up with a way to fund, and host the training times.

Praying the lord gives you the wisdom needed



Lessons from the French Canadian revival

carson-725436.jpg Don Carson recently spoke at the In The Chute conference. He gave a great history of French Canada and all the social and spiritual pressures that lead up to a time of remarkable revival in the 1970s.

He shared lessons from the lean years and lessons from the years of rapid growth.

You can read Mikey Lynch's report and download the audio.

HT: Murray Campbell